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Monday, June 17, 2024

Trump says he won’t participate in Republican debates

Former President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he will not attend the first Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday, and hinted that he may skip future ones as well. He claimed that he is so far ahead of his potential rivals in the polls that he does not need to share the stage with them.

Trump made the announcement on his Truth Social media platform, which he launched earlier this year as an alternative to mainstream social media sites that banned him after the January 6 Capitol riot. He cited a CBS News poll that showed him leading the Republican field with 62 percent support, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with 16 percent. The rest of the candidates had single-digit support.

“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump wrote, boasting about his achievements on energy, border security, military, and economy. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”

The first debate in the race for the 2024 Republican nomination is scheduled for Wednesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is organized by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a group that has been loyal to Trump and his agenda. The debate will be moderated by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.

The debate is expected to feature several candidates who have been critical of Trump and his role in the 2020 election and its aftermath, such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

Trump’s decision to skip the debate may not come as a surprise to many observers, as he has often expressed disdain for the format and the moderators of such events. He also skipped a Republican debate in 2016, when he was running for his first term, and threatened to boycott several others.

However, some analysts have suggested that Trump may be avoiding the debate because he fears facing tough questions or challenges from his opponents, especially in light of his recent legal troubles. Trump has been indicted four times this year on various charges, including trying to overturn the 2020 election results and inciting the Capitol riot.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has called the investigations against him a “witch hunt” and a “hoax”. He has also maintained that he won the 2020 election by a landslide and that it was stolen from him by widespread fraud and irregularities. He has not provided any evidence to back up his claims, which have been rejected by dozens of courts and election officials.

Trump has not officially declared his candidacy for 2024, but he has repeatedly hinted that he will run again and seek a rematch with President Joe Biden. He has also endorsed several candidates who support his agenda and attacked those who oppose him within the Republican Party.

Trump’s dominance in the Republican field has posed a dilemma for other potential candidates, who have to decide whether to challenge him or align with him. Some have tried to appeal to both Trump’s base and more moderate voters, while others have distanced themselves from him or criticized him openly.

Trump’s absence from the debate may give more space and attention to other candidates who want to present themselves as alternatives to Trump or as heirs to his legacy. However, it may also reduce the interest and viewership of the event, as Trump remains a polarizing and influential figure in American politics.

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